Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.
At least, until your sink begins to leak again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… kind of gross, right? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
What is ear candling?
Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Occasionally, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other cases, it might occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have any number of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It’s no fun!
Some individuals, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). People think that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the mix of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t suggest this approach. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever using this practice. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)
The drawbacks of ear candling
At first, ear candling might feel perfectly safe. It’s not as if it’s a huge flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be very hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: The candle wax can get left behind in your ears even if you don’t get burned. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
- The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can inserting a specialized candle into your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.
- Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is extremely sensitive and substantial burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer significant harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Often, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.
- You could severely burn your face: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Everyone has accidents once in a while. Severe burns on the face are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually quite dangerous!
A better way to Tackle earwax
Ear wax is generally rather healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Issues start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad idea?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. Usually, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But in some circumstances, they will do a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them clean out wax without damaging your ear.
In general, you should avoid techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule an appointment with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating any stubborn earwax.